With the announcement that Sweden has ended an investigation into alleged Ericsson bribery in China, it appears as though some of the pressure on Ericsson related to recent claims of bribery may be diminishing. As per the Reuters news service, the Swedish Prosecution Authority announced this week that it had ended an inquiry into alleged extortion transactions made in China by employees of Ericsson since there was no proof that a crime had been committed.
Additional Information About Relief Over the Bribery Investigation
For the titan of telecom equipment, this is yet another successful outcome. In June, four former executives were found not guilty in Sweden of charges that they had bribed high-ranking Djiboutian officials to secure a 3G deal worth close to $20 million more than ten years prior, as they reported at the time.
However, in a billion-dollar corruption settlement with the US Justice Department, Ericsson had acknowledged engaging in bribery and other misconduct in Djibouti, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Kuwait from 2000 to 2016. One of the biggest foreign bribe deals ever was the deferred prosecution deal from 2019, which was signed in 2019.
According to reports, Swedish prosecutors also looked into whether any employees of Ericsson would be accused of bribery in Sweden in connection with transactions in Kuwait and Iraq but abandoned their inquiries. According to a statement made by the prosecuting authorities about the China investigations, although payments totalling several hundred million Swedish crowns, or tens of millions of dollars, were made in the years before 2016, it was unclear whether or not they were paid with malice.